Householders who are putting up their Christmas decorations in the coming days have been warned to be on their guard for unpleasant surprises.
Pest controllers are expecting a busy time, with many infestations triggered by creepy-crawlies and rodents hiding in baubles and tinsel.
Families who are bringing down boxes of festive decorations from their attics have been advised to take extra care when emptying the contents.
Experts say the most likely bugs to be lurking among the decorations include silverfish, cluster flies and spiders.
Mice and rats are increasingly driven indoors and into attics at this time of year to avoid the cold.
Families who are decorating their homes with real Christmas trees have also been urged to be vigilant as festive firs are usually full of hibernating bugs, including lice, mites and moths.
"We always get a lot of calls at this time of year as people start to head up to their attics to bring the decorations down," said Trevor Hayden, who runs Complete Pest Control.
"A lot of pests take refuge in people's attics, and there's a good chance there'll be some hidden in the boxes the decorations are stored in.
"I advise people to be careful where they open the boxes once they bring them down from storage."
He also warned that bugs hiding among the needles of real Christmas trees are likely to be sparked into life once they are brought into a warm house.